Bill to make trading in Purple Heart Medals illegal proposed

 
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Bill to make trading in Purple Heart Medals illegal proposed

Guest post by Jonn Lilyea:

In 2009, Zach Fike’s mother gave him for Christmas a Purple Heart Medal that she bought. It had belonged to the family of Corrado Piccoli who had been killed in action in France during World War II. Zach, now a major in the Vermont National Guard and a Purple Heart recipient himself was spurred to return the medal to the family. That led to the founding of Purple Hearts Reunited that returns found Purple Hearts and other medals to families.

Now, according to the Military Times, Republican Representative Paul Cook has introduced a bill that would make buying and selling Purple Heart Medals a Federal crime.

Republican Rep. Paul Cook introduced legislation last week which would make selling the medal punishable by fines and up to six months in prison. Online retailers price the military honors at several hundred dollars each, more if they can document who the original recipient was.

“These military collectors cheapen the Purple Heart by buying and selling this symbol of sacrifice like a pack of baseball cards,” said Cook, who served 26 years in the Marine Corps before joining Congress, rising to the rank of colonel and receiving two Purple Hearts for injuries sustained during the Vietnam War.

[…]

Cook’s bill would place the Purple Heart into a new protected category, keeping it away from not just con artists but also memorabilia collectors. Officials from the Military Order of the Purple Heart applauded the idea.

The medal is awarded for wounds or death caused by an armed enemy in combat, the Purple Heart is the oldest military award still given to U.S. military members, it predecessor was known as the Badge of Military Merit, and tracks it’s history to George Washington’s Continental Army.

The bill would not affect the sales of veterans selling their own medals, or their families selling one that they inherit, according to Cook.

Posted in the burner | 4 comments
 
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I ASKED FOR THE REINSTAMENT OF THE PURPLE HEART AWARD I TURNED DOWN WHILE IN THE ARMY HOSPITAL IN NANCY, FRANCE IN APRIL1945. MY WOUNDS WERE NOT LIFE CRIPPLING AS WAS THE SOLDIER IN THE ROOM WITH ME. BOTH OF HIS LEGS WERE BLOWEN OFF AT THE KNEES AND ONE ARM AT THE ELBOW. I WAS SUBSEQUENTY TREATED IN THREE VA HOSPITALS IN CALIF. FOR THE WAR MY WOUNDS. MY CLAIM FOR THE REINSTATEMENT PURPLE HEART WILL NOT BE PROCESSED WITHOUT THOSE RECORDS. THERE WERE OVER ONE MILLION MEDICAL RECORDS DESTROYED IN THE RECORDS STORAGE WAREHOUSE FIRE IN ST LOUIS IN 1973, MINE INCLUDED. I'VE WRITTEN LETTERS TO THE CONGRESS, THE VA, THE DEPARMENT OF THE ARMY AND THE PRESIDENT ASKING FOR A PROCEDURE THAT ALLOW THE PROCESSING OF VETERANS CLAIMS WHOS RECORDS WERE DESTROYED BASED ON THEIR ACCOUNT OF THE WAR WOUNDS. I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO GET CORRECTIVE ACTION. WE VETERANS FOUGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY AND NOW WE HAVE BEEN CAST ASIDE. QUESTION, HOW DO YOU GET THE VA'S ATTENTION??? SOME ONE NEEDS TO ROLL UP THEIR SLEEVES AND GO TO WORK.

These prestigious medals of courage and Valor should never be sold for any reason

CONTACT YOUR LOCAL AMERICAN LEGION OR DAV TO HELP WITH YOUR MEDALS.

It was really sad to hear about the fire in St Louis and other places destroying the many military records. How does one prove they were in the service if they were destroyed in the fire? How will it prevent fraud from happening when "fake veterans" claim they were in the service when they were not, just like how some people in Louisiana filed false claims when Hurricane Katrina went through when they were not flood victims?

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.